Armagh woman found guilty of animal welfare offences

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Ms Cherry Nesbitt of Orangefield Crescent, Armagh has been found guilty at a hearing in Armagh Magistrates Court on Monday 6 February 2023 having been charged with animal welfare offences under Section 4 & 9 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 for causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of animals.

Ms Nesbitt, who was not present in court, was convicted by District Judge Ivers in her absence, who granted a disqualification order for a period of 2 years, fined the defendant £150 on each charge, a total of £300, plus a £15 offender levy. Judge Ivers also awarded £252 legal and court costs.

In July 2020 a complaint was received in relation to a white pony owned and kept by Ms Cherry Nesbitt at Barkston Livery Yard, Cloghramer Road, Newry. It was alleged Ms Nesbitt had failed to provide veterinary care for the animal after it became unwell and subsequently sold the pony to a new owner.

When the new owner went to collect the pony it was noted that the animal was unable to stand and was also severely emaciated. On seeing the unhealthy condition of the pony the new owner contacted a vet to attend but unfortunately the animal had to be euthanised.

It was understood Ms Nesbitt had provided the animal with over the counter medication some months previous but did not request a vet to assess the animal physically when it had become so poorly.  When approached by the Animal Welfare officer, Ms Nesbitt did not co-operate with investigations.

A council spokesperson commented: “We will continue to investigate all instances of animal welfare concerns brought to our attention and will use all enforcement powers available to us to take action against anyone guilty of causing neglect or cruelty to animals. We would also ask the public if they have any concerns regarding the safety or welfare of an animal to report it to the council on T: 028 3751 5800 or email